Hong Kong

The New York Times Runs Apologia for China's Hong Kong Crackdown

Regina Ip spins a fantasy of a just government restoring order to Hong Kong.

|

"The West tends to glorify" pro-democracy protesters "as defenders of Hong Kong's freedoms, but they have done great harm to the city by going against its constitutional order and stirring up chaos and disaffection toward our motherland," declares a New York Times op-ed published today.

Penned by Regina Ip, a legislator and member of Hong Kong's Executive Council, the piece reads as a paean to law and order, arguing in favor of the brutal national security law China recently imposed on Hong Kong, which has long operated under the "one country, two systems" agreement.

This arrangement had long guaranteed that Hongkongers have basic speech and due process protections. But in February 2019, those freedoms were threatened by a proposed extradition treaty (since withdrawn) that would have allowed Hongkongers accused of crimes to be extradited to mainland China and subjected to its unpredictable, capricious justice system.

This set off months of protests and calls for Chief Executive Carrie Lam to step down, with millions turning out to fight for their freedom. Many were met with aggressive police tactics, including the deployment of munitions that left some protesters blind or injured. Then Beijing enacted a national security law on June 30. It vaguely targets "secession, subversion of state power, foreign interference and terrorism," and it has been used to suppress speech; since it passed, many activists have fled the city.

Which brings us to the Times piece. Ip argues:

Hong Kongers who wanted the city promptly to return to peace thought the authorities' handling of the situation, which dragged on for months and grew more and more violent, was incompetent. For other locals, many outsiders and apparently much of the global media, a people's legitimate quest for more democracy was being suppressed.

Something had to be done, and the Chinese authorities did it.

The scale and frequency of antigovernment protests has now subsided—thanks to a national security law for Hong Kong promulgated in Beijing on June 30.

Ip spends much of the article fearmongering about radical factions of the pro-democracy movement. She also laments that the city has been downgraded on prominent economic freedom indexes over the past year. Hong Kong was downgraded for "ongoing political and social turmoil" and "Beijing's recent 'interventions,'" and its first-place status could very well be restored if Beijing would stop attempting to bring the city under its tightfisted rule. But Ip insinuates the protesters are at fault.

She then downplays how people's lives and speech have been affected by the introduction of the law, saying it will be tested in court and that only "about 28 people have been arrested under the law." She writes, "To some, the new national security law is especially chilling because it seems simultaneously vague and very severe. But many laws are vague, constructively so. And this one only seems severe precisely because it fills longstanding loopholes—about subversion, secession, local terrorism, collusion with external forces."

Actually, the law seems severe because it's an attempt by an oppressive one-party regime to crush the freedoms that make Hong Kong a desirable place to live, learn, and work.

This is the same newspaper that erupted in internal conflict over an op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R–Ark.) that suggested federal troops ought to "restore order in our streets" after the police killing of George Floyd. Many Times writers claimed that the piece put black staffers' lives in danger, and the editor responsible for running it, James Bennet, resigned.

Just as Tom Cotton's viewpoints on squashing civil disobedience in the streets are emblematic of many mainstream conservatives' views, which plausibly merits coverage, there's a case to be made that Ip's views are representative of some Chinese and Chinese-American views on the relationship between Hong Kong and the mainland, meriting coverage too. But it's hard to come up with a justification for running Ip's essay that doesn't apply to Cotton's too.

Opinion pages ought to include a wide range of views, whether or not we personally find them reasonable. But Ip's argument, for the record, is not reasonable at all. It distorts the situation in Hong Kong, spinning a fantasy of a just government restoring social order. Vague laws that give an authoritarian regime wide latitude to crack down on dissent are not, in fact, a recipe for freedom or for peace.

Advertisement

NEXT: Publishing Registered Sex Offenders' Home Addresses Before Halloween Is Gratuitous, Unethical, and Reckless

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Gets popcorn ready… alright you all can get started.

    1. I Make Money At H0me.Let’s start work offered by Google!!Yes,this is definitely the most financially rewarding Job Abt I’ve had . Last Monday I bought a great Lotus Elan after I been earning $9534 this-last/5 weeks and-a little over, $10k last month . . I started this four months/ago and immediately started to bring home minimum $97 per/hr

      Heres what I do……………………………………………… More INformation Here

  2. Communist propaganda agency publishes propaganda for communist party, more at 11.

    1. Good summary. Someone should inform ENB.

      1. I quit working at shoprite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I’m working online! My work didn’t exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new…URf after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn’t be happier.

        Here’s what I do…>> Click here

    2. I wonder when the NYTimes will have the same opinion on Antifa riots

    3. Vortex sucks democracy out of Chinese island STOP

      Violence begins downward spiral into representative Communism in eager vie for full slate of mainland adoptions; new protest violentcier police promise to turn against standing law to work for food!

      Sidekick island planned for new population to rival full slate of North Korean utopian supplications.

  3. This has to be fake news. The NYT has never tried to cover up communist atrocities.

    1. Well, not until the commies first started pulling that shit back when they betrayed the Russian revolution that toppled the Czar.

      -jcr

  4. But an editor got fired for suggesting calling in the national guard after 60 days of Portland riots. Gotta love the left.

    1. If they were in Hong Kong, typical Portland Antifa goons would be backing up the the Police line, not in front of it.

      1. If they were not in the police line.

        1. They’d have been out attacking the protesters long before the police started cracking down. You know, because of the American flags.

    2. I see Robby has nearly the exact same take as I do on Twitter. Knew there was a reason I liked him best out of the Reason regulars.

      1. Yup. I guess he goes about as far as he can without getting directly in the cancel crosshairs. Gotta admire that.

  5. So, I guess Hong Kong isn’t the proof we were looking for that trade makes a communist nation more liberal or more open to individual freedoms after all?

    1. Not sure about that since a large portion of the Hong Kong populace is fighting for liberal values. It took the nobles to rebel to get King John to sign the original Magna Carte.

      1. And how well did that work out for, say, Tibet?

        I assume their protests resulted in change, yeah?

        1. Tibet, not well. England for a few centuries up until say the last 50 years or so*, very well. Not saying trade is a fool proof bullet to ending tyranny, just that I don’t think you can say liberal values haven’t spread across Hong Kong when their people are in a state of rebellion against their Communist overlords. I guess it comes down though if a Nation is its people or its government from your original statement. It’s people have liberalized.

          *And with Brexit, maybe their is hope for our inbred cousins across the pond.


          1. I don’t think you can say liberal values haven’t spread across Hong Kong when their people are in a state of rebellion against their Communist overlords.

            The conversation isn’t whether or not some people became more liberal under the rule of Great Britain in Hong Kong, the argument is that the CCP won’t tolerate it and will stamp it out with the military and concentration camps. Like they’ve done before with other unruly area’s of the nation before.

            In the context of the magna carta, where are the ‘nobility’ in the CCP who are in favor of a more liberalized Hong Kong?

            Basically, if the people in China who became more ‘liberalized’ don’t survive the regime change did China actually become more liberal?

            1. I’m not sure we will hear much out of the CCP from unrest from the tycoons of China. Problem being 2 fold, western liberal media like the NYTs and Chinese censors. Recently one tycoon was thrown in jail for 18 years for criticizing Emperor Poohs handling of CV-19, for what that is worth. But specifically Hong Kong, I don’t think it can be said again while they are in rebellion that trade doesn’t help liberalize a country. China needs to be careful not to scare away foreign capital that likes to keep operations off the mainland for fear of communism; that right there is a nice weapon for the Hong Kongers to be holding. Will it be enough, time will tell.

              1. Of course we won’t hear much out of them about it, they’re specifically keeping that out of people’s ears.


                I don’t think it can be said again while they are in rebellion that trade doesn’t help liberalize a country.

                Given that rebellion is bad for trade, I think it remains to be seen if this is good or bad. We appear to be in some agreement over the ‘time will tell’ angle, even if we disagree on the final form.

                I think the ChiCom has repeatedly proven that they are anti-liberal, even while they’re pro-enrichment of the party. I think when push comes to shove, the ChiCom is more interested in anti-liberal than they are pro-enrichment. They know what side of the bread their butter is on.

                And Chinese industry knows which side their butter is on too, and they have their jobs because of the ChiCom and are well aware of it.

                China is only ‘pro-liberal’ if you squint really hard, pun not actually intended.

                1. Or if you use “liberal” to denote the American totalitarian left

                2. They know what side of the bread their butter is on.

                  At the end of the day, the free market involves risk. The god-emperors of the CCP will never relinquish the ability to squeeze their due tribute out of the populace should the free market forsake them. To believe otherwise is to ignore the entire history of China.

                  1. Kind of have to agree. Certainly there’s some argument to be made that even the Chinese could eventually come to respect individual rights organically, they are human beings after all, but culturally speaking I just don’t see it any time soon. I’ve spoke to too many Chinese nationals who are true believers in the Party, even abroad while receiving liberal educations. To the uneducated Chinese peasant class who can’t leave the country and will never receive a liberal education, I doubt they even notice a difference between the CCP and the Emperor.

              2. It scared off Disney and NBA, didn’t it?

                International corporations don’t care, they just want that yuan.

              3. China needs to be careful not to scare away foreign capital that likes to keep operations off the mainland for fear of communism; that right there is a nice weapon for the Hong Kongers to be holding. Will it be enough, time will tell.

                Fifteen or twenty years ago this was a real concern for China. Now they are feeling strong enough to throw their weight around. HK is no longer as big a benefit as in the past. It’s already too late.

          2. That inbred snaggle toothed cousins, to you!

      2. Oh, and also ‘large portion’ of Hong Kong would still be a subset of 7 million people vs. 1.3 billion total. And even that assumes every last person in Hong Kong is a revolutionary.

  6. Welcome to a practice run of the apologia for the Biden Administration when they start trying to confiscate “Military-style assault weapons”.

    1. A positive (and unplanned) result of the ultra-violent Antifa rape, murder, looting, and arson squads running amok in some jurisdictions is that it has killed any serious attempts at draconian gun-confiscation efforts.

      1. it has killed postponed any serious attempts at draconian gun-confiscation efforts.

        FTFY

      2. Not if the left succeeds in unseating Trump.
        That happens, it’s full on totalitarianism or civil war.

  7. Hong Kongers who wanted the city promptly to return to peace thought the authorities’ handling of the situation, which dragged on for months and grew more and more violent, was incompetent. For other locals, many outsiders and apparently much of the global media, a people’s legitimate quest for more democracy was being suppressed.

    Now do Portland.

    1. What’s happening in Portland is just an idea. A mostly peaceful idea.

      1. even when it intensifies, just an unorganized idea

      2. Can ideas even get notaries to sign proof they are antifa?

        1. Keep trying, JesseAz. Keep misrepresenting my words. It’s kinda what you do.

    2. I get what she’s trying to say, but that sentence needs a good edit for grammar.

  8. 1. It was in the New York Times, therefore not worth covering.
    2. It was a propaganda piece for the Communist Chinese, therefore not worth reporting.

  9. The NYT running apologia for a brutal communist dictator? I’m shocked… shocked I tell you!

    1. How DARE they?!

      1. “DARE” implies that there is some kind of risk involved. There isn’t. This has been routine for the NYT for almost a century.

  10. I see you equate Cotton to Ip. Because they are both members of the communist party? Nope. One nation China has no elections, no freedom, and concentration camps, and forced labor whereas America is the opposite. Yes it is so the same thing to compare communists and anti-communists. Thank you reason for making such a fine distinction.

    If it wasn’t already clear, you guys are fucking crazy by now. If you cannot distinguish between people who are rioting looting and burning in America because they want to be part of the communist marxist party, and people in Hong Kong who don’t, I just think liberaltarians will never hit that jackpot 5% number you’re reaching for all these years.

    1. I don’t think you get it. They aren’t comparing Cotton to Communists. They are asking why the NY Times would freak out about Cotton’s call for a tougher crack down in portland, then happily publish- without freak out- someone defending an ACTUAL crack down by the commies.

      To be clear, they don’t like crack downs in either case. But they are pointing out how hypocritical Reason is for getting the vapors about Cotton.

      1. You mean the New York Times, not Reason?

    2. Something went right over someone’s head.

  11. XI certainly doesn’t want to see turmoil and death. He doesn’t want to see it. He is a good man. He is a very good man….

    1. And Tibetan peasants cried upon hearing of the death of Mao.

    2. Xi certainly did not want to see turmoil and death. “Bother.” said he as he turned and closed his eyes.

  12. Communist propaganda agency publishes propaganda for communist party, more at 11.

    true skate apk
    https://apkgameapps.com/action/true-skate-apk/

  13. “But it’s hard to come up with a justification for running Ip’s essay that doesn’t apply to Cotton’s too.”

    Well it’s not the same, is it? I mean here you have a member of Congress advocating for the suppression of the rights of citizens and non citizens [as if it make any difference] alike to peacefully protest and express their justifiable rage against injustice; whereas China is simply trying to establish peace and order in the face of “chaos and disaffection toward [the] motherland.”

    Hint: It’s what many on the American left want to see happen here, of course by a government of their choosing. They want us to be like China in that regard and, like the Mensheviks they are, never ever imagine it will be used against them.

    1. They want us to be like China in that regard and, like the Mensheviks they are, never ever imagine it will be used against them.

      More importantly, they are supporting an immoral, unconstitutional position – even if it never used against them. Principles matter.

      Black JOBS matter.

      1. It’s what many on the American left want to see happen here, of course by a government of their choosing. They want us to be like China…

        [T]hey are supporting an immoral, unconstitutional position…

        I think the immorality is there from the start. They’re leftists after all. Leftism, in itself, is immoral.
        Leftists’ position, in addition to being immoral, is unconstitutional. The Founders’ Constitution is incompatible with leftism.
        Is it any wonder that the people whose agenda is immoral and unconstitutional would use immoral and unconstitutional means to implement their agenda?

  14. Just as Tom Cotton’s viewpoints on squashing civil disobedience in the streets are emblematic of many mainstream conservatives’ views, which plausibly merits coverage,

    Not everyone is confused between a peaceful protest (including a ‘disruptive one’) and people trying to burn down an occupied building and/or physically attacking people on the street.

    1. No, just 95% of the media.

      1. They are ‘mostly honest’ media.

  15. Right on queue, the Bee does it again: https://babylonbee.com/news/biden-claims-communist-china-is-just-an-idea

    I might actually go subscribe to them. It’s $50/yr, and I wager I’ve gotten $50 worth of entertainment from them in just the last 2 weeks.

      1. In case anyone doesn’t know, USA Today fact checked the Bee’s story about the 9th Circuit Reversing RBG’s Death

        1. I laughed so hard at that.

  16. Google says “Burn Loot Murder” translates as “烧伤 抢劫 谋杀”.

    That’s the problem.

    Man the hypocrisy is rank.

  17. Well we are talking bout the NYT…the paper that never condemned Stalin’s killing of 5-10M Ukranian Christian Farmers, who celebrated the largest organized lynching in the US (done in New Orleans to Italian Americans)…yet they have a soft spot for communism..always have..wonder why? Old world grudges drive everything at the Times…it explains their actions every time.

    1. the paper that never condemned Stalin’s killing of 5-10M Ukranian Christian Farmers

      Never condemned it? Duranty won a Pulitzer for reporting that it was a colonialist myth.

      1. The Bolsheviks were great folks until…well you know..Stalin started to purge some of the folks the Times has some connection to….

        I just think the “Russia” bad..”China” good is driven by two factors..one is the obvious..Dems need the Chicoms to buy the govt debt to keep enriching the public sector elites and buy votes and second…its the Czar thing…the Czar bad…communists good…sorry but there you go.

    2. NYT loves some Fidel Castro too. They’re ignored his atrocities and celebrated his glorious, equitable government. And, of course, they took Castro’s word for everything without independent evaluation. But those evil Republicans, they’ll question their every idea.

  18. The New York Times Runs Apologia for China’s Hong Kong Crackdown

    So… literally exactly like Reason? Or is not “running apologia” if you just ignore the violence, mass murder, political and religious persecution and only run favorable coverage of the CCP?

    1. Reason has run unfavorable coverage of rioters in Portland and other cities.

      1. Try to keep up you retarded cunt, I was talking about China. Google “CCP”.

  19. Ip is “a legislator and member of Hong Kong’s Executive Council”. In other words, this piece states the official view of the Hong Kong government. There’s nothing wrong with printing that, but people need to understand it for what it is.

    1. Really? There is nothing wrong with reprinting communist propaganda? What’s next? Is the NYT going to publish the official views of white supremacists, fascists, segregationists, and anti-Semites as well, in the name of fairness? (Well, I guess since they have done all that before, it would just be returning to their roots.)

  20. HK has become fiction loosely chained to GB, so much so that any new action now unfolds like a ‘Chinatown’ sequel or new installment of a pulp fiction series.

    Forget what you may think you know about HK, its fame has doomed it to status of anachronism.

    If you really care about HK, ask its people what can be done to bring peace, because not just anyone controls its destiny today.

  21. But it’s hard to come up with a justification for running Ip’s essay that doesn’t apply to Cotton’s too.

    As long as you pretend that a justification has to be more sophisticated than “America evil!” to have the support of the NYT staff.

    I mean, those Hong Kongers flew American flags, proving they were right-wing jingoistic white supremacist militiamen.

  22. “The West tends to glorify these people as defenders of Hong Kong’s freedoms, but they have done great harm to the city by going against its constitutional order and stirring up chaos and disaffection toward our motherland.”

    Translation; Dissent is evil; order is good, killing people and imprisoning innocent ones is OK if it eliminates dissent and restores order. They are required to have “affection” for the Motherland. Lack of affection towards the CCP is evil.

  23. Fuck off NYT! Sorry, it had to be said. As a Christian I care about the eternal soul of every person at the NYT. I hope God can redeem them. Until that time, I want to kick each of them in the crotch. The NYT exemplifies everything wrong with the media in our country. Trump is absolutely correct that the MSM is an enemy to our country.

    Who is harming our country more? The police state or the media? I honestly think it’s the media at this point. I could see the police improving but the media is a lost cause.

Please to post comments